Dry off the sun-tan lotion, re-season your black pot, pull your pearl-button long sleeves and blouses out of the back of the closet. Fall is Acadiana’s time to be out and about. (The dress code for the aficionados of folk and the dedicated followers of the latest fashion in college rock is remarkably similar.) Whatever your choice of plaid, wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot to do, and a lot hear this September.
Tuesday, Sept. 11
Image courtesy of AcadianaCenterForTheArts.org
Acadiana Center for the Arts
I’ve often heard Grizzly Bear described to the uninitiated as “chamber pop,” a phrase that fails to capture the band’s sonic clout. True, the Brooklyn-based Pitchfork darlings — a fixture in the tastemaker blogosphere since the mid-aughts — have an affinity for dense, nearly impenetrable arrangements. And, yes, their tracks have hooks. But the full effect of the band is orchestral in impact. Check out “Mourning Sound” off the band’s last record Painted Ruins. A chamber wouldn’t quite hold them. A touring band of Grizzly Bear’s caliber rarely stops on our stretch of I-10. Seeing them in the intimacy of Lafayette’s contemporary arts center is alone worth the price of admission.
Thursday, Sept. 20
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/BenMillburn/
Ben Millburn & Sunglass Moustache with The Viatones, Grand Nathaniel and the Ghosts
Austin-by-way-of-Louisiana psych artist Ben Millburn comes from a long (approaching three decades?) line of outsider pop songwriters from the Bayou State. We don’t get much credit for it, but the tradition gives us the hipster bona fides of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum (he’s from Ruston, a college town in North Louisiana). Millburn’s latest offering Sunglass Moustache plays like a 4-track bedroom experiment realized in hi-fidelity. Check out “Call Me King” for a taste of T. Rex.
Thursday, Sept. 13
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/Vermilionville/
South Louisiana Guitar Greats
The thing about Cajun musicians is they’re often killers at “normal” instruments, too. While the electric guitar is not heralded around here to the same extent as the fiddle or the accordion, the region has its fair share of gunslingers. Players like Roddy Romero, who makes his living behind an accordion just fine, has guitar chops that could put him on the top of the call list in Nashville. Check out his slide work on “Ma Jolie,” a track he penned with fellow six-string ace Michael Juan Nunez, who appears with Romero for this shredder’s revue.
Friday, Sept. 28
Image courtesy of Carl Abernathy via Facebook.com/pineleafboys/
Pine Leaf Boys
Blue Moon Saloon
Pine Leaf Boys frontman and Cajun music scion Wilson Savoy says there are four basic lyrical themes in Cajun music: “My girlfriend broke up with me. I’m gonna go to jail (probably). I’m gonna get drunk. And then I’m gonna to go to the dance,” he says in this charming video of a performance in Ljubljana, Slovenia (a lovely town if you’ve never been). If the YouTube credits are to be believed, the Pine Leafs cooked a gumbo before making merry for the Slovenians. Pine Leaf Boys are serious cultural ambassadors. They pass a good time.
Sunday, Sept. 30
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/Corey.Ledet
Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band
For all its energy and verve, zydeco has a whole world of slow jams. Corey Ledet’s “Street Light,” a single off his 2017 release Standing On Faith, drips with 90s soul. The groove is sensual, the accordion reeds flutey and tame, Ledet whispers and coos, and the guitar warbles like it’s amplified by a hot tub. Ledet’s found another way to make you sweat, in simpler terms. A Creole born in Houston, Ledet is on the bleeding edge of zydeco’s cross-pollination with Cajun, R&B and club burners. He’s the king of the zydeco slow jam.
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